Back Safety: Lift and Like It

Back Safety: Lift and Like It

Whether you are accustomed to lifting or manipulating a shovel, wrench, fountain pen or typewriter, you may be one of the many persons each year who suffer from backaches, sprains, strains, pulled muscles and charlie horses. Over 250,000 industrial workers, housewives and office workers injure themselves each year through poor lifting techniques.

Employers and employees should realize that the muscles of the body have their specialized functions in the same sense that drilling tools have their specialized functions.  The heavy, round muscles of the arms and legs are those Nature intended for lifting.

The practice of stooping over from the waist to lift, accompanied with the added factors of uneven footing, poor balance or other awkward positions, is a direct invitation to eventual injury since undue strain is thrown upon the flat back and abdominal muscles.

If employers would teach their employees the proper way to lift, most trunk injuries would be eliminated, particularly sprains and strains.

  • The truly proper procedure for the worker to really observe is to start his lift in a squatting position with his feet as close together as possible and the load as close to his body as its size and shape will permit.
  • Holding his back straight, the worker should then use the strong and sturdy leg muscles to lift his load and stand erect.
  • The body should never be turned or twisted while under the stress of a heavy weight. Instead, the worker should turn his whole body if he desires to change his position after he has made his lift.

We attach great importance to the correct way to lift for a simple reason: Nature intended it that way.  She did not intend for the flat and comparatively weak back or abdominal muscles to assume a duty not their own, as would be the case when a man stoops over from the waist and tries to lift a load these muscles were not constructed to accommodate.